Monday, October 24, 2011
Every season NBC comedy, Chuck, has been "on the bubble". A TV industry term for "not enough of the coveted 18-24 demographic is watching and I need a new summer home" so the TV execs put some shows on the Maybe List. Chuck always seemed to survive this list based on the support and passion of its fans. Including a campaign with Subway at the end of Chuck's second season, buy a sub, show your love for Chuck! Fans came out in droves.
I have to be honest and say that I am a Chuck newbie. I started watching the show about 5 months ago after my friend Tessa gave it her approval. If Tessa likes something, I'm immediately onboard, she has great taste. I also discovered Zachary Levi's (Chuck himself) website The Nerd Machine and fell in love with its "all things nerd" atmosphere and positive energy. Which led me to volunteer for TNM at Comic Con for their Nerd HQ festivities where I got to meet Scott Bakula and Seth Green. Be still my heart. Not one to forgo research to perpare for a new adventure I decided this was as good a time as any to get my Chuck card punched. Thanks to Amazon Instant Watch, I downloaded all 4 seasons of Chuck and blasted through them....here is my recap:
We are introduced to Chuck (Zachary Levi), nerd, loser, employee of the Buy More (think Best Buy), and part of the Nerd Herd (think Geek Squad) trying to escape a birthday party thrown by his sister so he can "meet girls". He is perpetually girlfriend-less after being dumped in college for his roommate Bryce (Matt Bomer). Who then got him kicked out of Stanford by framing Chuck for cheating. Cut to present minimum wage Chuck who now lives with his sister Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) and her boyfriend, Devon (Ryan McPartlin) (referred to as Captain Awesome, because he is just that, awesome). On the night of Chuck's birthday he receives a cryptic email from Bryce (who is now a rogue spy working for the CIA) that has him solve a riddle and next thing he knows there are images flashing and it is 7am. He starts the day with a splitting headache and ends it as a NSA/CIA asset complete with handlers, Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski, the hot one) and John Casey (Adam Baldwin, the grumpy one). What he took to be harmless pictures turn out to be subliminal NSA and CIA secrets encoded onto images to be stored into the brain of an operative. Not the head of a nerd who works at a chain store.
The next 4 seasons explore how Chuck grows into his role as a spy. In the process he falls deeply in love with Sarah and she with him. John grows from McGrumpy Face to a trusted ally for Chuck and reunites with a family he thought he had lost forever. Along the way we are introduced to Morgan (Joshua Gomez): longtime best friend of Chuck's, Jeff and Lester (Scott Krinsky and Vik Sahay): the Buy More's version of Laurel and Hardy, Colonel Beckman (Bonita Friedericy): CIA director and hardcore boss, and Big Mike (Mark Christopher Lawrence), the manager of the Buy More. Chuck finds and loses his dad, Stephen, played by Scott Bakula (le sigh). Then finds his Mom, Mary Elizabeth, played by badass Linda Hamilton. Ellie and Devon get married and have a baby, Clara. Then at the end of season 4, much to the delight of fans, Sarah and Chuck got married.
Throughout the 4 seasons the intersect evolved as well, going from being triggered by random things like photos and symbols, to a matrix-like update that gave Chuck the power of Kung Fu, but only if he was in control of his feelings. After Chuck was able to freely admit his feelings for Sarah, he was able to use the new "Matrix Intersect" to his advantage, but it was erased. The final episode found a pair of glasses meant for Chuck, be put on by Morgan. A familiar flash of images rolls by....and Morgan is now the new Intersect.
Chuck rolls into its 5th and final season on Friday. Chuck and Sarah, aided by Volkoff Industries, have formed their own spy team and will be taking Morgan under their wing. With an end in sight we will be seeing amazing guest stars (Mark Hamill!! Rebecca Romijn!!) and take our time to say farewell to Chuck.